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How to Promote Your Chatbot – Tried and Tested Methods

How to Promote Your Chatbot – Tried and Tested Methods

Ola Bilińska 12.03.2020
Ola Bilińska

Are you thinking about automating your communication? If you hope that a chatbot will attract clients by itself, you’re wrong. Even if you have the best chatbot on the market, it won’t get recognized without promotion. So don’t expect your bot to quickly reach a wide range of users.

This guideline includes both paid and free forms of chatbot promotion. It’s a collection of useful and relevant tips you can start following from today. The marketing activities I describe have been tested by our company, which uses an automated communication system on a daily basis. 

Chatbot Promotion on Your Own Communication Channels

Start With Your Website

I’ve been observing the communications market for some while and I noticed that chatbots, especially those on Messenger, are often neglected. Most probably, you own a website and know how much work it costs to attract new visitors and encourage them to take a certain action. It involves a wide variety of strategic and marketing activities, among which you should also include specific chatbot promotion methods.

On your website, you can create special links hidden in banners or other graphics, which will count the number of people who visit your website via your chatbot. You can also assign variables to users in order to send them personalized messages.

On our platform, you can do this in the “Promotion” tab by clicking on “m.me links”.

Promocja chatbotów przy użyciu linku m.me
How to assign a variable to a m.me link on the KODA Bots platform

Firstly, name the m.me link and choose how it should look like so that you can easily find it on our platform. Then, choose a specific “place” inside your chatbot, to which you want to direct users with the link. After publishing m.me links, you’ll see how many people clicked and went deeper into the chatbot conversation flow. You can also create links that direct users to different parts of your website to determine which ones are the most effective.

Promocja chatbota - Unity Line
Online chatbot promotion – Unity Line
Promocja chatbota - Komputronik
Online chatbot promotion – Komputronik

Besides links hidden inside your website content, you can also use plugins to increase chatbot traffic. For example, the Wroclaw Airport website uses two types of plugins:

  • Customer Chat Plugin – a very popular plugin that allows you to start a chatbot conversation on your website and continue it on Messenger.
  • Send-to-Messenger Plugin – use this plugin to direct users to your chatbot right after they click on a button that looks like a Messenger logo. The plugin also enables you to automatically save additional information, like the order number or flight number a user wants to book, in the Messenger thread.
Customer Chat Plugin
Chatbot plugins on the Wroclaw Airport website

It’s a good practice to use different methods of directing website traffic to your chatbot, especially in the beginning. Thanks to this, you’ll obtain valuable knowledge from statistics. This will not only allow you to optimize your tool but also improve its marketing communication.

Use Social Media

I often see that companies don’t support new chatbots with their social media channels. Even though brands use social media as a basic tool to share content and contact potential clients (Facebook promotion is just one example). Facebook offers much wider possibilities, but chatbot promotion also largely depends on the people who are responsible for social media marketing.

To show how a chatbot works, companies usually publish graphics or short videos on their fan page. It’s also a good practice to regularly notify fans about new chatbot functionalities – to constantly increase their interest and engagement. You can also

Promocja chatbota w Instagram Stories
Chatbot promotion on Instagram Stories

Automatic replies to Facebook posts are also very helpful. They’re a great way to engage a larger number of recipients. Thanks to this feature, anyone who comments on your post will receive a private, personalized message. Whenever people start an interaction with an auto reply, they’re also saved in the bot’s database.

How to create an automatic reply?

  1. Create a post and publish it on your fan page.
  2. Name the auto reply so that you can later find it – the name will be displayed only on our platform.
  3. Choose a post to which you want to assign auto replies.
  4. Decide whether you want the chatbot to reply to a user only once or every time a user comments on your post. 
  5. Decide whether the chatbot should respond only if users write a specific phrase when they comment on your post.
  6. We write the message that will be sent to the user. 
  7. The user can write anything to make the chatbot continue the conversation. So try encouraging users to respond in auto-replies. 
  8. If the user responds, we can determine the chatbot’s further answers. We have various chatbot blocks to choose from

Thanks to automatic replies, our clients can engage users and encourage them to participate in various contests and games after they comment on a Facebook post.

Konkurs w chatbocie - Similac
Auto replies in Semilac’s chatbot contest

By using the auto-response mechanism, companies actively support their sales. They also improve the performance of various chatbot campaigns, which brands conduct on various occasions, including events, holidays, or other important dates in our calendar. Travelplanet.pl, a popular online travel agency, connected Facebook with Messenger to build a stronger relationship with customers. The travel agency used its chatbot to engage them in the celebration of St. Andrew’s Day and invited them to participate in future telling games.

Zabawa w chatbocie
Auto replies used by Travelplanet.pl

This underrated Facebook feature works extremely well if you want to promote various types of competitions. The number of Komputronik chatbot users has increased several times only thanks to auto replies.

Konkurs Komputronik
Auto replies in Komputronik’s contest

Promote Your Chatbot Offline

The Internet opens up amazing marketing possibilities. But don’t limit your activities to online promotion alone. After all, you can also find many potential clients on beaches, trade fairs, or events. With the help of m.me links embedded into QR codes or printed promotional materials, you can attract their attention by offering, for example: 

  • prizes (enter the chatbot, solve a quiz, win a limited edition nail polish or a boat trip), 
  • good entertainment (enter the chatbot and vote which song will be aired on TV – the current results are displayed live on the screen!).
Promocja chatbotów przy użyciu Messenger Codes
Offline chatbot promotion examples
Przykład promocji chatbota Portu Lotniczego Wrocław w materiałach drukowanych
Wroclaw Airport uses printed leaflets to promote its chatbot

Non-Standard Chatbot Promotion Examples

MOICO, a local Internet provider from Wroclaw, promoted its chatbot by encouraging users to participate in an “Urban Jungle” game. In this way, the company wanted to familiarize users with the chatbot and show them creative places in Wroclaw. To take part in the game, the only thing users had to do was to send “I wanna play a game” on Messenger. Participants entered an urban jungle full of unexpected twists and turns. MOICO divided the game into several levels – the Messenger chatbot played an important role on each of them. It served as a guide; it directed participants to the right places, suggested where to look for clues, told them mystery riddles, and provided GPS-coordinates.

 

Example of a clue:

In the night there’s no need to eat,

you’ll eat a burger on Tęczowa street,

a place with tasty, nutritious food,

that puts everybody in a good mood,

search for the clue where movies are watched,

you’ll find the password in the right spot!


Place: Night market on Tęczowa street

 

The game had eight levels; each level began 2 days after the previous level had started. The finale took place in MOICO’s customer service office, which was adorned with jungle-like decorations. The final participants had to guess the name of the plant used to decorate the room and enter that name into the chatbot (it was rubber tree). The winner was the first person who gave the correct answer.

Winners could receive such prizes, as an iPhone X, a GoPro camera, a smartwatch, and a free Internet package for a month.

Gra miejska w chatbocie MOICO
“Urban Jungle” game in MOICO’s chatbot

Use Media to Build Outreach

If your chatbot is one of a kind and has unique features no other chatbot offers – don’t hesitate to inform the media about it.

Brands we cooperate often use this PR tactic, especially when they introduce innovative solutions. But remember that chatbots are still relatively new tools on the market. To encourage users to try out your chatbot, tell them how it works, what it’s used for, and so on. The key is to educate. No matter whether your chatbot is used in the tourism, banking, or media industry, always show its unique features to users. They can be surprised by the range of its possibilities. Contacting media is a good idea not only if you’re just starting your adventure with automated communication, but also if you want to show how advanced and innovative your chatbot is. Besides this, you’ll earn a high reputation and build a wider outreach.

Promocja chatbotów przy użyciu chatbotów - Zieleniec SKI Arena
Media relations in chatbot promotion – Zieleniec SKI Arena
Promocja chatbotów przy użyciu chatbotów - Semilac
Media relations in chatbot promotion – Semilac

Who knows, maybe your chatbot will even end up in the TV 🙂

Promocja chatbota w telewizji - Port Lotniczy Wrocław
TVP3 Wroclaw broadcasting the release of the Wroclaw Airport chatbot

Run Image-Building Campaigns – Organize Chatbot Contests and Quizzes

Nothing spikes the interest of social media users more than a good contest. Find out how chatbot contests can look like and how effective they can be. After you decide to organize a contest, remember to offer pushletter subscription whenever you publish contest ads or posts. Pushletter subscription can appear at the beginning of the user path (which can be quite risky) and at the end. It can also be offered within 24 hours since a user’s last interaction with your chatbot. Remember that it can’t be sent to those who already have signed up for the pushletter.

Promocja chatbota przy wykorzystaniu konkursu
Chatbot promotion with the help of an online contest

Paid Online Chatbot Promotion

You have a head start if you already have planned a budget for your chatbot promotion. Using paid media doesn’t have to involve preparing complex promotional campaigns. If your chatbot performs a specific task – for example, if you’re using it to hold contests, generate leads, sell products – try to direct some part of the user traffic to your chatbot. This will also be an effective marketing activity.

Click-to-Messenger Facebook Ads

I strongly recommend this method of promotion. It lets you use a “Send Message” button to automatically direct users to Messenger. In other words, you can direct users to specific chatbot blocks after they click on your ad and start a conversation. The best way to use click-to-messenger ads is to do it with JSON, which we generate for our clients on our platform. JSON reduces the risk that Facebook uses default questions (downloaded from your Page’s settings) in its first message.

Facebook provides excellent tips on how to improve click-to-messenger campaigns.

promocja chatbota z wykorzystaniem reklam na Facebooku
Chatbot promotion with Facebook ads
Promocja chatbota - reklamy na Facebooku
Chatbot promotion with Facebook ads – examples

Messenger Ads

Besides Facebook, you can also display ads directly in Messenger. Thanks to this, you can promote your chatbot not only within the Facebook ecosystem but also on the very messaging app. The major advantage of Messenger ads is that it’s hard not to notice them. Especially when they’re illustrated with attractive graphics that are consistent with your brand image and chatbot content. 

They also have another advantage – thanks to small competition, there’s a high probability that you’ll reach more customers. However, I wouldn’t advise “aggressive” advertising inside Messenger. Users are still getting accustomed to Messenger ads, so be careful not to scare them away 😉

Just like with click-to-messenger ads, Facebook prepared valuable guidelines on how to use Messenger ads.

Promocja chatbota dzięki Messenger ads
Example of a Messenger ad

Sponsored Messages

Since March 4, 2020, Facebook has started to precisely define the messages that chatbots can send to users for free. From a dozen or so tags that could’ve been used to mark messages (so that Facebook would know in what context we’re contacting a user), we’re now left with 3 tags that relate to notifications (about events, account updates, purchase order statuses) and a single message we can send within 24 hours since a user’s last interaction with the chatbot.

Changes in Messenger opened up new possibilities for brands to communicate with users – one-time notification and news messaging. One-time notification lets you send one message on a specific topic for which a user has signed up (for example, ticket sales or the availability of a specific product). News messaging makes it possible for Facebook fan pages registered as News Pages to send non-promotional content to users (currently unavailable in Poland).

Most push messages should be sent to users via Facebook Ads Manager. They look exactly the same as standard chatbot messages, with the exception that they’re marked as Sponsored.

Przykład wiadomości sponsorowanej na Messengerze
Example of a sponsored message on Messenger

After selecting the format of your message and choosing the Sponsored message option, you can upload a file with a non-standard group of recipients – users who have, for example, subscribed to push notifications. This will help you specify your message delivery. After that, the only thing left is to write your message. You can send it with buttons, quick replies, graphics, or carousel blocks. Buttons can direct users to external websites as well as to other blocks inside your chatbot (these are called postback buttons).

What’s important, Facebook stipulates that sending such messages can take up to several days (that’s why you should send sponsored messages at an appropriate time, especially when you offer a temporary promotion). Sometimes there are also problems with sending emojis inside sponsored messages, so the safest are the simplest ones, created with basic characters – 🙂 or <3.

Don’t Avoid Chatbot Promotion

Start with a chatbot communication strategy and plan its implementation. Without regularity and consistency, you can’t expect to have a quickly growing number of engaged and loyal users. Bots on Messenger or other messaging apps are great tools that will help you achieve marketing goals and automate your communication. But only under the condition that you’re aware of their enormous potential and know how to unlock it.